The X Factor 2012 came to a close with a spectacular grand finale at Manchester Central on Sunday December 9, in front of an audience of 10,000 eXcited fans.
With Jahmene Douglas and James Arthur battling it out for the X Factor crown, it was always going to be an impressive show, but throw in some of the biggest names in pop, and it certainly proved to be an evening of festive delights.
The Final opened with a Christmas medley from most of this year’s finalists, including Melanie Masson, Union J and Kye Sones.
Christopher Maloney was notably absent, after coming third on Saturday night’s Final show.
An X Factor spokesperson confirmed: “Chris decided he no longer wanted to be part of The X Factor Final and has gone back to Liverpool.”
After the group performance, it was time to get the last stretch of the competition under way and it was Jahmene Douglas who was up first in his bid for final glory.
He delivered a heavenly performance of Robbie William’s hit Angels, (see what we did there) which reduced mentor Nicole Scherzinger to tears, and saw her say: “When I watch you up there, you bring so much spirit and hope. When you sing I just feel safe. You really are an angel. You’re my role model. You’ve taught me the greatest love of all. You are a beacon of light Jahmene. I love you.” Praise doesn’t come much better than that.
Next, it was Nicole’s other Boy, James Arthur, who took to the stage and he wowed with a sizzling rendition of Let’s Get It On, which sent temperatures soaring in the arena.
After receiving a kiss on the head from the ever-so-smooth Mr Arthur, Tulisa gushed: “James, I know I’ve said it a million times during the series; we’re here, we all feel like we’re at a James Arthur concert. You’ve done it again tonight and that’s why you deserve to win.”
Speaking of kisses; One Direction delivered a fun-filled performance of new track Kiss You, giving this year’s finalists a reminder of the success that can come from the series. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, 1D came third in the X Factor back in 2010 and have since gone on to become the biggest boyband in the world.
Scottish singer Emeli Sande also returned to the X stage, after performing on a Results’ Show earlier in the series. The 25-year-old Aberdeenshire singer kept her stage set simple, without backing dancers or elaborate pyrotechnics, and let her crystal clear vocals do the talking as she sang the moving ballad, whilst playing the piano. It truly was magnificent and testament to the fact she is one of the most popular female artists to emerge over the past couple of years.
Back to our two lovely finalists and Jahmene returned to wow with the song which would be his winner’s single if was to take the top spot – a beautiful version of Let it Be.
Louis Walsh told him: “Jahmene what can I say about that performance? You have so much soul and passion and you were born to sing, not be in a supermarket.
“That was an amazing rendition of the Beatles classic – and that could be number one.”
James Arthur’s potential winner’s song was Shontelle’s Impossible.
Tulisa said: “A personal message from me: from the second I saw you perform, I got you. We’re the same people, you know what I mean? You are an inspiration. You deserve to win this competition.
Last star turn of the night came courtesy of Rihanna, who rocked new single Stay and much-loved hit Found Love, looking as stunning as ever in a white dress, complete with pixie crop hair cut.
Finally, it was the moment we had all been waiting for – the X Factor 2012 winner was about to be announced.
In true X Factor style, host Dermot O’Leary left a dramatic pause... before revealing James Arthur was the champion.
The 24-year-old looked completely shocked, fighting back the tears as he hugged mentor Nicole.
When he finally managed to speak, he said: “Thank you, thank you so much.
“Have I really just won? Wow! I don’t know what to say.”
Brilliant runner-up Jahmene Douglas was gracious in defeat, as he praised the champ, saying: "I think it’s just a blessing to share the stage with such talent. You are so amazing, James.”
And with that, it’s all over for another year and half-Scottish singer James Arthur is the new X Factor winner. Congratulations James.
You can download James Arthur's new single, Impossible, on iTunes. 100 per cent of the profits from the track will go to Together for Short Lives, the UK’s leading charity for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and those who care for and support them.